I put this here since it really wasn't an etiquette question...I already know I wasn't in a good mood, but this patron, who usually scrapes my last nerve was so unintentionally cute, I had to share.
Titanic Guy is a well meaning but clueless young man. We suspect he is developmentally and emotionally challenged. He is, I am sorry to say, cruelly homely and without much to recommend him and he has but three topics of obsessive conversation. The Yankees, The Titanic and Zombies. Not necessarily in that order. He takes out books on all three subjects and has been complaining that we don't have enough information. I recently found a book called "Deck Z" which is a horror novel in which the Titanic's sinking is chalked up to, yes, zombies. If only the Yankees had been sailing on the Titanic as well I would have hit the trifecta.
In any event, Titanic's favorite pass time is to hang at the reference desk and mock us (he really does think he is being cute and endearing) for whatever reason he can invent. If his favorite "buddy" isn't on desk it's "Well, tell 'im to get his butt up here or I will kick it from here to Timbuktu!" or, because I was raised in a strict Boston Red Sox household, he will say to me "The Red Sox SUCK! The Yankee's'll kick their a**." Or at Halloween it's "If a zombie comes after my kids when I have any, I will rip his cold dead face off and feed it to him."
As you can imagine, this becomes wearying waaaaaaay too soon. Like even before he gets into the reference room, we are all cringing because we can't get him to go away. Yes, we all have spines and we have all told him we can't engage in conversation, but it's as if we said "Titanic, pull up a chair and stay all evening." He will go out onto the stairwell, then turn around and return, as if he thinks we are so dim that we will believe it's a new day. Once, when a patron was having a heart attack and we were waiting for the ambulance, Titanic stood over the victim, still yammering about the Yankee's game du jour. When told "Titanic, we are waiting for an ambulance and you can't just stand here like this" he replied "I'm just making conversation!"
So the week before Christmas, we had some reall jerks visiting the library. There were about a half dozen men in their late twenties, early thirties sitting at a desk whooping and hollering, using foul language and calling each other a particularly offensive ethnic slur, sometimes preceeded by the F word. My coworker and I had to ask them to be quiet. We have no security guard and we try not to call the police for these kinds of situations and there is not "being a jerk" crime. Anyway, I was on the phone and these jerks were SO loud I couldn't hear myself think let alone the patron on the other end of the call.
Thihs group had really reached the end of MY medication and I looked up and said "Guys, we have asked you several times to be quiet! Please! Just grow up." Pretty soon one of them is over telling my coworker he wants to make a complaint. For the rest of the night he and his companions sat at their station saying things like "Guess you can be [ethnicity] in THIS library, huh? Not allowed to be one of US in a library. Getting in trouble for being in the library whiole being [ethnicity}."
And in the middle of this,l Titanic walked in and my heart just dropped into my shoes.
He immediately started in on me for being a Bosox fancier and I had had it!
I said "Titanic, I have a splitting headache and a lot of misery on my plate. I do not have the time or energy for YOU tonght. Go Away." This sounds harsh, but it's the only thing that will cause him to move.
"I was just making conversation."
"I'm sorry, Titanic, I do. not. have. the energy for you and your nonsense. Please find something to do or go home."
He started out the door, then came back in and said to me "Do you think you will have the energy for me and my nonsense tomorrow night?
Sorry, but soda almost came thru my nose. I said "Sure, Titanic, I can muster up five minutes for you tomorrow night.
He actually didn't come back for two days, but it was sooooooooooooo funny a contrast with the sour pusses and jerks of the day that he actually brightened my little corner of the world for a while.